Fast Market Research

Market Report, "Canada Power Report Q2 2012", Published

Fast Market Research recommends "Canada Power Report Q2 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/08/2012 -- BMI View: A number of factors have prompted us to revise our forecasts for Canada's power sector. As part of a revision of our historical data series, we have now factored in lower generation, consumption and net installed capacity for 2011. On top of that, a number of macroeconomic and sector-specific dynamics have been priced-in to our outlook. Most notably, according to BMI's Country Risk team, the Canadian growth outlook will remain relatively positive; yet, a significant deceleration in activity is expected in the first half of 2012 as the global economy cools. As a consequence, while we still expect the power sector will avoid entering negative territory, we see power consumption growing only modestly (0.83%) in 2012.

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In the short term, we believe that much will depend on the external picture and its influence on Canada's economy. With power demand highly correlated to economic activity, we thus see risks to both the upside and the downside to our power forecasts for 2012.

That said, in the long-to-medium term we expect the country's mature electricity market to see a moderation but a positive rise in generation and consumption. With regard to capacity, we highlight that Canada enjoys the advantage of a diverse and balanced electricity mix thanks to its abundant indigenous resources. Yet, despite Canada's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, environmental concerns are likely to limit a wider use and development of coal-fired power plants. Over the coming years, investment in capacity will thus focus primarily on refurbishing old plants and on green technology.

In light of these elements, key themes for Canada's power sector this quarter include:

- Ontario Power Generation awarded Aecon Construction and SNC-Lavalin Nuclear a US$600mn contract to refurbish four reactors at the Darlington nuclear plant in March 2012. The overhaul will enable the reactors to operate for another 25 to 30 years, with both having reached mid-life. The contract is for the planning phase (which will run from 2012 to 2016) of the Darlington Retube and Feeder Replacement Project. The execution phase of the project will run from 2016 to 2023.
- The Canadian province of Alberta is to go ahead with the construction of two 500 kilovolt (kV) direct current north-south power transmission lines. The CAD3bn (US$3bn) project was first proposed in 2003. The lines are designed to transport electricity from coal-fired power generation stations near Edmonton to the province's southern region. The project has been delayed due to opposition from landholders along the route and critics who claimed that costs are too high, citing options such as domestically located natural gas turbines as better alternatives.

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